Local anglers and other interested parties are invited to attend an upcoming public scoping meeting hosted by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division to discuss largemouth bass management on Bear Creek Reservoir in Jackson County and potential changes to the current largemouth bass length limit.
The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23 at the Jackson EMC Headquarters building in Jefferson (850 Commerce Road, Jefferson, GA 30549).
Staff with the Wildlife Resources Division Fisheries Management Section have been monitoring the fish population at Bear Creek Reservoir since it was first stocked in 2001. Current population data will be presented at the meeting.
When the reservoir opened, a 16-22 inch protective slot limit was placed on largemouth bass to encourage the harvest of smaller fish and grow more trophy-sized bass. However, population monitoring has shown that the current slot limit is not achieving the desired results and that switching to a statewide 12-inch minimum size limit would allow local anglers to harvest fish over 16 inches and would allow tournament anglers to weigh in quality fish that currently are in the protected slot range and must be released immediately.
Options being considered:
- No change in the current regulation which is a protective slot limit of 16 to 22 inches and a bag limit of 10 fish per angler per day for largemouth bass;
- Change the regulation to the statewide minimum size limit of 12 inches and a bag limit of 10 fish per angler per day for largemouth bass.
Wildlife Resources Division encourages attendance from local sportsmen and women to gather public opinion. Anyone attending the meeting is welcome to provide statements or comments, either orally or in writing. Statements should be concise to permit everyone an opportunity to speak. Participants must register upon arrival and notify the registering official of their intent to give a statement. Those unable to attend may submit written statements, postmarked by April 26, 2013.
Written statements should be mailed or emailed to:
Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division
Attn: Olivia McClure
2150 Dawsonville Highway
Gainesville, GA 30501
The April 23 meeting site is accessible to people with physical disabilities. To request sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids, contact Olivia McClure at (770) 535-5498 no later than April 18, 2013.
After the meeting and the public comment period, Wildlife Resources Division staff will determine if a change of the bass length limit is widely supported. If so, the Division may propose a regulation change to the Board of Natural Resources later in 2013.
For more information, contact Olivia McClure at the Gainesville Fisheries office at (770) 535-5498.